A Seasonal Collection by Little Woolens ; Winter Hoodie

hoodie-5KBP-1 hoodie-6 hoodie-12 KBP-17KBP-8We sure have been talking about it for long enough, but Ashley and I have finally published the first of our patterns in our new collaboration Little Woolens.
You probably know of Ashley’s great efforts on her blog and podcast Woolful, where she shares with us interviews from wonderful and inspiring people within the fiber world, and showcases small flock and pure breed fibers in the Woolful Mercantile.
Ashley and I met through our love of knitting, and the fact that we both have young children, and Little Woolens grew over time from long conversations on lazy weekends about everything we know and love about wool. Each Little Woolens pattern is purposefully created, using yarns we admire and support companies we respect.
Today I released my first contribution; Winter Hoodie. It is also the first in a set of patterns ‘A Seasonal Collection‘, showcasing yarns from Green Mountain Spinnery. Each of the four seasonal designs will feature a different construction and come with a girl or boy option. You can purchase the entire collection and have each new pattern arrive in your inbox when it is released, or the individual patterns will always be for sale just by themselves.

hoodieKBP-16This pattern was quite the feat, mainly because I worked up both samples myself, and at quite the pace! The colourwork is surprisingly simple, and with use of the helpful link included in the pattern I now have my weaving of floats mastered!
The boy option in this wintery knit features a classic body with no shaping, which could also work for a girl, however there is a more feminine girl version with a longer, more tunic-like body and bellowing hemline.

A lot of the hard work in getting this design to you came down to Ashley, who compiled the pattern in a clear and beautiful pattern layout, with amazing photos, charts and schematic. And our logo! Again, that is down to her her amazing illustration skills – I’m so grateful to be working alongside Ashley, and VERY excited to see where Little Woolens takes us.

Winter Hoodie

A Seasonal Collection ebook



A new hoodie for her

IMG_0397DSC_0016 DSC_0058 DSC_0052 DSC_0049 DSC_0047DSC_0108 DSC_0009DSC_0127DSC_0124DSC_0122Many months ago I had fun with a little experiment in trying to exhaust a dye bath. Often with natural dyeing there is a little pigment left in the water and, when I can, I try to use it up, or “exhaust” the pot by dyeing other bits and pieces. I had a madder root dye bath with still quite a bit of colour left and entered some mordented, but dry, 100% Cormo wool to the pot. Because the fiber was dry, the rate at which the yarn absorbed the water across the skeins was staggered and the pigment was picked in an uneven way, creating this highly tonal yarn.

Always looking for a project for Louella I fell in love with the R&R Hoodie pattern, written by Tanis Lavallee, and published on her Son’s first birthday. This sparked a little goal that I would have the hoodie finished by Louella’s first birthday, which I met, except for the zip. I am no stranger to sewing a zip into sewn clothing, but this is the first time my knits had met a zip. What do you know – the hoodie sat zip-less for the next 6 months. Luckily the Cormo I used was a little heavier than the weight of yarn the pattern called for, and although I worked the appropriate size for her, it came up a bit big for Louella at the time. Of course when I finally sat down, with the help of pinterest, to sew in the zip, it only took me about 20 minutes! The result is one of my favourite things I have knit for Louella. It is still a little bit big, but just perfectly so. We are going to be getting the best amount of wear from this hoodie. The yarn is soft but pretty densely knit for a warm and cosy wear. And the colour! The madder root and the way I dyed the yarn has created the most one-of-a-kind project which makes it even more special. The colour is subtly ‘girly’ and on a very unisex pattern it is the perfect match for my rugged little farm girl.

Tanis, you are a genius, I will be making this one again for sure!!

PS. Photographing toddlers is some kind of joke! :)



Turns out facebook makes it really hard to find out who has liked your page, maybe a good thing, but either way….with help from random.org the winner of my little 2015 giveaway is Sarah!! Congratulations! I will make sure to send you a free copy of every pattern I publish this year.

Thank you all for joining in the fun with me! Now, back to the knitting…

Nordic Wind KAL

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In the little break I took between Christmas and New Years I worked on a selfish project – my Nordic Wind as part of the Woolful January KAL. This is a most satisfying and rhythmic pattern from cabinfour, and worked up with the wonderful Lopi farm yarn from Green Bow Farm. I wrote more notes in my previous post here, but in the spirit of trying to share more about my FOs (and keeping my ravelry project page up to date) I wanted to round off this shawl with a final entry. There are some beautiful shawls popping up in the KAL thread over on ravelry, and great support from lovely folk. It is has me looking forward to Ashley‘s February KAL which features a Little Woolens pattern! We sure have been talking about Little Woolens long enough… the wait will soon be over!

Now, I have a bit more of this Lopi left, and I was to kindly gifted this hat pattern by the clever lady herself…. we might not have the weather for a super warm chunky hat, but I sure have the needles to make one!! IMG_4632


DSC_0015Well here it is! 2015.
As I wrote on instagram yesterday, the end of this year is little bitter sweet as I cannot believe how fast this year has gone by. With a growing and ever changing toddler, and a farm that doubled its herd size, it is overwhelming the pace that we traveled through 2014.
However, I know 2015 will be just as good, if not better! Hopefully my attempts to slow things down a bit, and be ever more present, will come to something and I won’t be bringing this feeling into the following New Year! I have lots of things planned for the months ahead of us, some patterns are ready to go, lots almost there, always a few at the swatching stage, and plenty in the sketch books or sitting there in skein form.
So how about a little fun to bring in the New Year? – a chance to receive a free copy of every pattern I release in 2015*! To play the game all you need to do is like by Annie Claire over on Facebook, and, if you want to double your chances join us in our ravelry group right here! I will let this run for a fortnight and pick out the lucky winner end of day Wednesday 14th January!

Good luck and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


*only patterns released through ‘by Annie Claire’ and ‘Little Woolens’

This morning

IMG_4258DSC_0036 DSC_0025 DSC_0020 DSC_0018DSC_0041 DSC_0012This morning I had the incredible fortune of waking up before the kiddo. It’s a rare and special treat (often due to a growth spurt on her part) and I try to absorb as much of them as possible. It also happened to be one of the coldest nights of our rainy winter so far, which brought a sparkly frost. After knitting and coffee, and the sun rising up through a cloudless sky, it poured through the windows and danced around the kitchen, bounced off ice capped water and burst through leaf-bare branches. I couldn’t help but get outside .

I am enjoying a bit of selfish knitting before the New Year. This past year has been a bit different for me with my knitting, digging into new designs more heavily, and working with deadlines more than ever before. Although I didn’t do much gift knitting at all, I still felt in the run up to Christmas that I wanted a bit of a breather and enjoy some downtime knitting – to knit whatever I want, and preferably someone else’s pattern! I’ve been working away on Mister’s sweater (more about that one soon!), I’ve already completed a Prim hat for myself, a pattern by Andrea Mowry – and currently working with some incredible bulky Lopi from Green Bow Farm in Washington and the Nordic Wind shawl by Deneise (Cabinfour). It is also my contribution to a KAL put on my friend Ashley over at Woolful.coml (more info here). I hope to explain more about the wonderful efforts Ashley is putting into supporting small flock and pure breed yarns, but she has made this amazing yarn available in her new online store WoolfulMercantile.com (although at this point it is sold out, sorry!)
I’m not usually a triangle shawl fan, and almost went ahead with my plans to adjust the placement of the increases for a crescent type shawl, but I am enjoying how this huge and bulky blanket-like project is coming along. I think the gradient of the natural fleece colours will be more dramatic within the triangle shaping. Becuase the yarn is thicker than the Lopi called for in the pattern, I went up to US11/8mm needles to maintain an open gauge and some drape. I am updating my notes as I go on my project page.

I cannot wait to get this project about my shoulders – most likely only one more night of work!

Which will bring me almost into 2015…. already?! I hope your way into the New Year is peaceful and inspired!


Pattern release : Starlight Scarf and Hat

KBP-19KBP-5KBP-17KBP-4KBP-6landscapeKBP-3   It’s always odd to work on knits for the coming season; a hat and scarf in summer? It’s funny to focus on something that doesn’t quite fit into the present. However, one must to get everything together and ready before the correct season has past! This sweet hat and scarf has a little story; they were inspired by the fact that whenever I travel back to England to see family and friends I always manage to forget something, and it often happens to be about the cold, wet and grey winter days….and a trusty scarf to keep out of blowing winds. Luckily there is a good supply of wooly winter ware at my parents’ house, and digging through it I always go for a scarf of my mother’s that features a simple one stitch color pattern and delicate picot hem. Last winter I wore this scarf to my old local town one day, and I stopped by the new local yarn store (oh how I wished it had been there when I lived there!), and happily discovered a healthy ‘British Wool’ section! In it was this gorgeous Bluefaced Leicester yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners*, in an array of natural fleece colours. Always a sucker for local fibers I snaffled up plenty and stored them away. Upon my return to American soil I realised how the buttery soft longwool fibers lend themselves naturally to a chunkier, longer version of my mothers scarf, and how perfectly fitting too.

I worked up a hat to match, fully lined for extra warmth (pom-pom optional to allow for reversibility, see pic below), and available in three different sizes. The outer and inner hats are worked separately and the stitches picked up through both at the cast on edge, to work the ribbing top-down. In Aran weight, both the hat and scarf are a speedy knit, and the simple colourwork is infectious! I can’t figure out which I love more, the hat or the scarf – good job I don’t have to choose!

So here is the Starlight Scarf and Hat, the first in hopefully an ever-growing collection of patterns focusing on British Wool.
*West Yorkshire Spinners ship internationally! Find the natural BFL here.

Yarn : For both Scarf and Hat; 4 skeins (MC), and 2 skeins (CC) West Yorkshire Spinners 100% Bluefaced Leicester Aran ; 100% Wool; 182yd/166m, 100g; photographed in Natural Brown 003 (MC) and Natural Ecru 001 (CC).
Or, 660yd/604m (MC) and 273yd/250m (CC) (includes pompom) in Aran weight yarn.
Needles : US 8 [5mm] needles, or size needed to obtain gauge, 16” circular, set of DPNs.
US 6 [4mm] needles, or size needed to obtain gauge, 16” circular.
Gauge : 19 sts and 28 rows = 4”/10cm in St st.
Notions : Stitch markers, tapestry needle, pom-pom maker (optional).


(no coupon needed, just click ‘buy now’)